New York City enjoys all fours seasons, which means the winter months can bring adverse conditions that make our city streets, walkways, and worksites more hazardous places to be. From slip and falls and car accidents to electrical accidents and building collapses, bad weather can increase the risks for many different types of accidents – as well as a number of serious injuries or death.
As attorneys who have been protecting the rights of injured victims, workers, and families across New York City and the state of New York for more than 40 years, our legal team at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. is all too familiar with the devastating repercussions of bad weather, and how the negligent and wrongful acts of others can exacerbate risks poor weather conditions create. As a firm which handles all types of accidents and personal injury cases, we’re available to help in a variety of situations.
Weather-Related Accidents & Negligence
Statistics from the federal government and agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOT) show weather-related accidents contribute to far more injuries and deaths than large-scale disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and flooding. While some injuries may be unavoidable and the result of weather and misfortune alone, others are preventable, resulting from the negligence of individuals or entities in a position to reasonably ensure the safety of others. Victims injured under these circumstances may be able to pursue personal injury claims.
Common weather-related accidents that may involve negligence and provide victims with an opportunity to seek compensation include:
- Slip and fall accidents caused or contributed to by negligent property owners, including negligent businesses, HOAs, nightclubs, and others that fail to reasonably address hazards they knew or should have known about.
- Building collapses caused by failures to build or retrofit structures to code, or address known vulnerabilities and hazards (i.e. in apartment or multi-unit housing run by HOAs).
- Pedestrian or bicycle accidents caused by fallen structures, electrical towers, walls, and other property which were improperly installed or maintained.
- Defective products, such as defective structures that collapse and create slip, trip, and fall hazards.
- Accidents involving public entity / government liability (i.e. accidents at subway stations, wrecks caused by defective roadways, etc.)
Car Accidents & Poor Weather Conditions
Increased risks of car accidents are among the most notorious risks associated with adverse weather. According to the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), weather-related wrecks kill an average of more than 7,000 people each year – almost a fifth of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.. An additional 418,000 are suffer injuries.
Whether it’s wet and icy pavement or heavy snowfall, blinding rain, and dense fog, bad weather can reduce visibility, make for slick and dangerous roads, and demand an increased focus on safety. Even though all these risks are dangerous, NHTSA data points to rain and wet conditions as a leading causes of weather-related wrecks, often because most motorists are less cautious when driving in the rain than in snow.
Unfortunately, even the most safety conscious motorists who reduce their speeds, maintain their vehicles, and take the necessary steps to drive safely in bad weather can suffer harm in accidents caused by others who don’t. If negligence played a role in your winter-related auto accident, you may have the right to compensation by pursuing a civil injury lawsuit. For example, these claims may include:
- Motorists who drive at speeds unsafe for prevailing conditions.
- Drivers who make sudden turns or fail to stop, leading to intersection accidents and rear-end collisions.
- Drivers who make unsafe lane changes, enter into traffic, or proceed through crosswalks while distracted, drunk or impaired, or without scanning their surroundings, which can cause both car wrecks and pedestrian or bicycle accidents.
- Defective products and unsafe auto parts, including defective brakes.
- Commercial vehicle and truck accidents caused by regulatory violations.
- Auto accidents caused by unsafe and poorly maintained roadways (i.e. potholes, excessive flooding, etc.)
Bad Weather & Worksites
Our NYC attorneys have earned a reputation for our work representing injured workers and families following a variety of workplace accidents. We help these clients explore their rights and options for recovering needed benefits through workers’ compensation, or financial compensation in civil personal injury lawsuits when the negligence of a property owner, product manufacturer, contractor, or another third party is to blame.
Examples of weather-related work accidents include:
- Slips, trips, and falls on worksites (i.e. falls from heights, tripping over debris, etc.)
- Electrical injuries and electrocution
- Natural gas leaks and other hazards that lead to explosions and fires
- Building collapses in structures not built to code or improperly maintained
- Equipment and machinery accidents
- Ladder and scaffolding accidents
- Falling objects caused by wet and slippery conditions
- Construction accidents in rainy, snowy, and other poor-weather conditions
- Crane accidents, including those caused by operation in prohibitive conditions (i.e. high winds)
- Workplace safety violations committed by employers or third-party contractors
Serving NYC & Beyond: Call (212) 577-9325 for a FREE Consultation
Every personal injury, wrongful death, and workers’ compensation case is different, but those involving bad weather can create unique challenges. That’s often because these accidents, from their initial appearance, may appear to stem from “natural” causes. As such, they require meticulous investigations and ample evidence to illustrate how another’s negligence caused or contributed to accidents and the resulting damages suffered by victims, as well as the firepower of a proven legal team capable of taking on even the toughest corporations and insurance companies.The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. is a NYC-based law firm with a national reputation, and has been named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News. If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your potential case and rights, we’re available 24/7 to help. Contact us for a free